ZANU PF, ANC tackle social media abuse
Fungi Kwaramba and Joseph Madzimure
SOCIAL media machinations by fugitives who are running phantom accounts to drive a wedge between ZANU PF and South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) are not only designed to harm the image of Zimbabwe, but are meant to cause disharmony among former liberation movements.
In a “frank and cordial” meeting held in Harare yesterday, the two former liberation movements tackled challenges the region is facing and pledged to deflect attempts by detractors to sow seeds of disharmony through recruiting members both within and outside the two parties.
This comes as the country’s detractors, having failed to effect regime change in Zimbabwe, had now turned to social media platforms to damage the reputation of the Zanu PF Government, one of the few governing parties in Africa to repossess land from minority white farmers and redistribute it to blacks.
A joint communiqué read by Zanu PF secretary for Administration Cde Obert Mpofu, after the meeting between the two fraternal parties, resolved “to have vigilance over fake news and social media agenda-setting for the two parties”.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, ANC secretary-general Cde Ace Magashule expressed concern over the manner in which social media was being used to set the agenda on the continent and called upon the two countries to take control of their destinies by way of controlling natural resources.
“The economic discussion is very important and that is what we are going to carry forward, because as long as we don’t have the economy in our hands, as the people of SADC and the people of South Africa, we will continue having problems. Our minerals must not be exploited by those outside but by our people, empowerment of the young people, empowerment of our women, empowerment of the marginalised Zimbabweans and South Africans will be key for us. We shouldn’t allow social media to set the pace and agenda for us in terms of resolving the challenges we may be facing,” said Magashule.
On his part, Cde Mpofu described the meeting as frank and exhaustive as it tackled issues affecting the region as well as how to checkmate attempts by the country’s detractors to sow seeds of despondence in the region, starting with Zimbabwe.
“We discussed issues of fugitives who seem to be responsible for the misinformation that is being peddled out there. We also avoided the use of the word crisis because there is no crisis in Zimbabwe; that is why my colleague decided that we have challenges, not only in Zimbabwe but also in South Africa. Discussions also revolved on the challenges affecting the two countries and the two parties,” said Cde Mpofu.
After being fed with misinformation from G40 fugitives that are living in South Africa, some leaders of the ANC were made to believe that there was a crisis in Zimbabwe, but after exchanging notes with their Zanu PF counterparts they could see through the web of deceit that was being spawned by the country’s detractors.
Among other issues that were discussed during the meeting, and that the ANC delegation admitted was that the mandate to rule came from the people, who in 2018 voted overwhelmingly for Zanu PF and only that through an election could a government be elected.
“We spoke about people’s aspirations. How how do you measure people’s aspirations except through democratic elections, which in Zimbabwe, has been given, more than two thirds majority to Zanu PF by the same people that people purport to be concerned about? So it was a no-holds meeting between comrades, amongst friends. I have attended several meetings in my career as a politician, this was the frankest, most candid engagement that I have experienced,” said Cde Mpofu.
Cde Mpofu chronicled how the two sister parties shared trenches during the liberation struggle and that bonds forged during the liberation struggle should not be interfered with by any force.
For the SADC region to prosper, Cde Magashule said, the illegal economic sanctions that the United States imposed on Zimbabwe must be removed unconditionally.
“As the ANC, and as SADC and as the AU (African Union) we have actually said, for as long as there are sanctions, you will not create a conducive environment for economic development for us to create an integrated economy in the region. As long as sanctions are there, we will continue making a plea to the entire world and the US that the sanctions should be lifted,” said Cde Magashule.
On the issue of human rights, which has been one of the country’s detractors favoured topic for denigrating Zimbabwe through concocting fake abduction tales that find currency on social media platforms, Cde Magashule said the parties that took up arms to fight colonialists in order to give freedoms to the majority, cannot be accused of defeating that which many of their comrades perished fighting for.
Some of the major issues which came out of the meeting were how the two parties will unite to fight crime and corruption to ensure that the people have confidence in the two revolutionary sister parties.
The two political parties also agreed to consolidate and defend the gains of the revolution and people’s struggle and also the crafting of economic programmes which advance the socio-economic conditions of the people.
The meeting was attended by Zanu PF Politburo and Central Committee members, who included Cdes Mpofu, Patrick Chinamasa, Simbarashe Mumbengegwi, July Moyo, Sibusiso Moyo and Ziyambi Ziyambi.
The ANC delegates who attended were the party’s national executive council members, namely Cde Lindiwe Zulu, Mapisa Ngakhula, Nomvula Mokonyane, Enock Godongwana, Tony Yengeni and Dakota Lekgoete.